There’s a mobile app for just about everything, so it’s not surprising that there are so many apps to learn Chinese online. They are an awesome addition to your learning toolbox, along with Chinese TV shows, movies, and Chinese songs.
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Psst–do you want to learn Traditional Chinese? Click here for more apps to help you learn it! (What is the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese?)
Are you ready to learn Chinese fast? Check out these popular Chinese language apps that you can download for free and use anywhere.
Top Mobile Apps To Help You Learn Chinese Online For Free
Most Chinese learning apps are powered by Spaced Repetition System (SRS). This is an algorithm that intelligently schedules Chinese characters to be reviewed at the most efficient time possible: just before you forget them.
Studies say SRS increases memory retention which makes learning a foreign language faster. Now that you know what SRS is, check out the best apps to learn Chinese for free!
Using Lingbe, you can call other Chinese learners (totally free) or native Chinese speakers (pay only US$5 for 1 hour of conversation) to practice your Chinese. Lingbe is fast, low cost and anonymous.
Anki is an app that uses SRS. You can download pre-made flashcards or make your own. You can then grade how well you know the card: “Hard”, “Good” or “Easy”. But the best thing about Anki is it’s open-source and easy to customize. Rich, CEO of China Admissions personally uses Lingbe.
Duolingo helps you learn Chinese through interactive games and bite-sized lessons. For beginners, you start with lessons such as greetings, numbers, names etc. Advanced learners need to take a placement test.
Memrise is a flashcard app that helps you memorize Chinese characters by using mnemonics and SRS. You will choose your own course and study it, after which, Memrise quizzes you on them using fun games where you get badges and virtual rewards.
Like Anki and Memrise, Skritter uses SRS but what’s unique about this app is it has a smooth on-screen handwriting feature that you can use to actively recall how to write Chinese characters wherever you are.
Hello Chinese features mini-lessons delivered through fun games. You can use their handwriting tool to practice writing characters. If you would like to speak conversational Chinese fast, this app has many listening exercises and a speech recognition tool to help with your pronunciation.
ChineseSkill is the only app that follows a curriculum designed by veteran Chinese teachers from Peking University, the best university in China. This app features automatic speech assessment, character handwriting and pinyin tone animation.
Using the apps here, you can create a learning plan to help you advance your Chinese level, or maintain your current one.
Read our strategies on how to self-study Chinese successfully.
Best Books About China
Also, check out the list of the best books about China and learning Chinese here.
More Tips To Learn Chinese!
Check out Zhongwen Chinese Popup Dictionary.
It’s a google chrome extension you can download. Any Chinese character you come across you can just hover your mouse over it to see the meaning. This literally saves you so much time instead of constantly copying and pasting into Google translate!
Aside from downloading apps, one of the best ways to learn Chinese is to enroll in an online Chinese Language course.
You can choose from one-on-one or group online classes at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), Dalian Neusoft University of Information (DNUI), Tianjin International Chinese College (TICC) and more. Check out more programs here.